Spotlight on Walnut

8 Min.

The rich, dark hues of Walnut have been the embodiment of traditional luxury for generations. With its beautiful grain configuration and strong, straight timber, Walnut is a classic choice for woodworkers.

Walnut custom butlers pantry

The Look.

Walnut typically has a dark brown color. Walnut heartwood can be so dark toned as to have almost purple tinges while the sapwood features a light golden tan color. It is the deep, rich chocolate tones that make Walnut so recognizable as a statement of quality and traditional beauty. Black walnut trees commonly reach heights of 100′ or more with 3′-diameter trunks, yielding copious amounts of consistent, straight grain—a lumberman’s dream. Woodworkers also seek out walnut because the crotch wood, where branches intersect the trunk of the tree, produces spectacular flame-like grain. Another source of highly figured wood—burls—are common in walnut. Even lowly stump wood often produces compressed and wavy grain, making the walnut tree one of the most all-around coveted lumber trees.

Timber Attributes.

Though relatively hard, walnut does not put undue strain on machinery or muscles and it holds crisp details from a router bit, carving knife, or other cutting tools and accepts finishes with ease. Normally chosen for its natural dark color, walnut is rarely stained, though it does take stain and finish well. It is a strong, hardwood despite its density, walnut is still relatively light and easy to work with. Walnut also has great shock resistant properties that have historically made it a good choice for gunstocks and turnings.

Walnut silverware insert   Walnut bar   walnut samples

Where should you use Walnut?

At JF we are big fans of this classic timber and we incorporate it into many designs, from traditional to contemporary. We offer solid walnut drawer boxes and walnut silverware inserts which will match perfectly with walnut cabinetry or provide a beautiful contrast in painted cabinetry, white cabinets with walnut drawers is quite striking. In the JF Boston showroom, we have some stunning examples of the ways that walnut can be used in kitchen design. From our traditional bar to the paneled backsplash in our modern, high gloss kitchen. Come check it out and inspire your inner kitchen designer.

Walnut flooringAnd of course, there’s the joy of a Walnut floor.

Walnut wide plank flooring is slightly softer than comparable Oak floors while still being heavy and stiff with exceptional dimensional stability. The classic beauty of a walnut floor cannot be surpassed. Walnut is prized among woodworkers for its deep tones and excellent durability. Jewett Farms + Co offers both select and character grade Walnut plank floors from our New England headquarters. Select grade Walnut plank flooring has a straight open grain while some character grade planks may have a grain pattern that is slightly curly.

Our reclaimed antique Black Walnut flooring is sourced from turn of the century barns where it was used sporadically as joists, beams, and girders. The timbers have a rich, deep chocolate hue with some light swirls and an overall sophisticated dark tone. Reclaimed black walnut displays some sound checking, mineral stains, occasional sound knots and nail holes alongside the swirling grain pattern. Black walnut makes an outstanding hardwood floor but, because of its slow growth (at least 60 years for a reasonably large trunk), over-harvesting has made this a rare species for flooring use. In fact, it has become so difficult to get hold of that some states report numerous black walnut thefts each year.

Visit the JF Boston showroom for walnut samples, displays, and inspiration.


References: Woodmagazine.com

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